When we lived in Seoul in 2014, we lived near Gimpo airport, and did not ever venture over to the Gangnam neighborhood of Seoul. That all changed when my husband, Austin, decided to get laser eye surgery during our time in Korea, and we selected Glory Seoul Eye Clinic in Gangnam to do the surgery. We chose this clinic because of their low prices, high surgery count and ex-pat friendly services. We drove up from our fishing village for consultation and surgery in the same day. Turns out, my big husband’s corneas were too thin for traditional LASIK, so he got lens implant surgery instead. The end result was the same- he can see without glasses- but the surgery process was a little more involved, so he was in the clinic all day between the prep (eye dilating drops for an hour before surgery), the surgery (15-30 minutes) and recovery (one hour
resting napping in a dark room). The LASIK process is much simpler and faster than that. It was so nice to have the consultation and surgery on the same day, with follow-up appointments the next day, one week, two weeks, and 1 month later. At this clinic, follow-up appointments can either be completed at the Seoul eye clinic or another optometrist. The biggest draw for getting LASIK or other eye surgery in Korea is the price- it is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper than the same surgery in the United States, and the doctors in Korea are very experienced and skilled.
At Austin’s last follow-up in the United States, the ophthalmologist was seriously impressed! I guess Austin’s surgery has only been approved in the United States for a few years, and not very many doctors do it. He called his assistant over to look at the perfection of Austin’s lens placement. So, these guys know what they are doing. We had two friends get traditional LASIK at the same clinic, and both had great results. We took advantage of a special “get LASIK with a friend” discount and a free night at the nearby Provista hotel for the night between surgery and follow-up. Austin’s eyes were not feeling too great after his recovery hour, and he couldn’t see very well right away, so we were grateful to go to a hotel for Austin to continue with his recovery. For several weeks after surgery, he had light sensitivity, but his vision dramatically improved to 20/15 by the day after surgery. Bonus- we bought matching funky sunglasses for 5,000 won (about $5) from the grocery store. They look great and helped with Austin’s light sensitivity!
After finishing up our assignment in Daesan, Korea, we again stayed in Gangnam while we were waiting for our Vietnam visas. Gangnam is a bustling, trendy part of Seoul with lots of office buildings, hip restaurants (like Shake Shack and TACO BELL!) and a huge underground shopping mall with booths selling mostly women’s fashions, but as we wandered around we found a little of everything. Just down the street from the eye clinic was Gangnam square, above the underground shopping mall and the Gangnam subway station. There was even a dancing stage with Psi doing his moves! Naturally, we had to join in.
We stayed in the J.W. Marriott Gangnam for this trip, in a suite overlooking the Han river and Namsan mountain. The view was incredible, and it did not help us feel better about leaving Korea! We grew to love the beauty of Korea and the friendliness of the people. It was hard on all of us to leave!
One of our daily activities in the Marriott was to go swimming. Some of the ladies from our church gave Owen this adorable swim suit with matching swim cap and I just had to snap some pictures of him getting ready to go swimming. The J.W. had a 25 meter lap pool with several lanes, and a warmer “children’s” pool and therapy pool with underwater exercise equipment for the elderly on one end and basketball hoops and other balls for the kiddos in the shallow end. Our boys loved the pool, and its location next to a mall made it easy to find food to eat. We were sad to leave Korea and the J.W. Marriott!